What Makes Libra Tick [an error occurred while processing this directive] [an error occurred while processing this directive] What Makes Libra Tick [an error occurred while processing this directive]

SUGAR AND spice and all things nice that's what Librans are made of. Even if you get the rare one made from puppy-dogs' tails, you can bet they'll be pretty pooches and handsome hounds. So it may come as a shock to you that this sweet, sublime sign is the iron hand in the velvet glove. 'What? Our Ethel?' I can hear you saying, but read on, my dears. Libra is a Cardinal Air sign, which means that Librans know what they want, and usually have the mental mastery to be able to get it. I mean, look at Margaret Thatcher!

Libra's ruling planet is Venus, which makes subjects of this sign courteous, charming, cheerful, caring, caressable and captivatingly cuddly. Make no mistake, loquacious Librans can charm the birdies right out of the trees when they want to. (And scintillate the squirrels while they're about it.) But if you look closely, they usually have an aim for all that charm and diplomacy.

Take a woman who has the Sun, Moon, Mars and Jupiter all in luscious Libra. (Gosh!) One day she discovered that a near neighbour didn't give two hoots about her so she moved heaven and earth until she did, but she killed her with kindness in the process! (And piqued all her pals, who felt ignored.)

The trouble is that Librans like to be liked. In fact, they can't bear to believe that someone can't stand them. Venus can bestow beauteous bounty on her boys and girls, but sometimes she can make them too sweet for words. Even when a Libran is at his or her sugariest and sickliest, you must work out what's behind it all. Librans are assertive, ambitious and go-ahead. So they always have an end in sight. (Votre derriere, dear.) It could be to keep the peace (incredibly important to Librans), or to get a new job, but it will be something. Of the other Cardinal signs, Arians will tramp through the rest of the zodiac, Cancerians will drown everyone in tears, and Capricorns will lumber along like a ten-ton tank. But Librans try to get what they want with a smile. (And they usually succeed.)

This is the sign of nuptial bliss, of partnerships of all persuasions, both in business and in love. (Committed relationships of one sort or another loom large in a Libran's life.) And so it's the sign of enemies, too. After all, you can have a rapport with a rival just as much as you'll have an affinity with an amoretti. The strength of the emotion is the same. Although the Urban motto is 'Peace at all costs', you mustn't forget the razor's edge between love and hate.

The polar sign of Libra is Aries, and these two can have a wonderful relationship, because they balance each other beautifully. (And remember that though Librans, being the sign of the Scales, are always trying to achieve perfect harmony in their lives, their own set of scales can go up and down like Yo-Yos.) The archetypal Arian-Libran relationship is the Tarzan and Jane jamboree. There's Arian Tarzan swinging through the shrubbery, leaping about in a little loincloth, while Ubran Jane stays at home being perky and pretty, probably with a little dishcloth. (Wearing it, of course, in a lovely shade of pink.) The Libran's keyword is 'You', whereas Arians say 'Me;'. Librans can think too much of their partners and pals, to their own detriment, and can stride off through sleet and snow to minister to a mate who's ill. Some of them can be too selfless for words, although they may still be doing it for a reason to be liked and loved!

Librans should stop being so concerned with the welfare of their loved ones, and think of themselves sometimes instead. In astrology, every sign has a positive and a negative side, and if you go to extremes in either direction it can be terrible.

This is the sign of puffy pink clouds, baby blue angora wool and pink and white icing. You see, Libra is a very pretty sign indeed. It's not as fantasial and fairy-tale as the Fish, because Librans have more of a sense of reality. Nevertheless, the Libran quest is very much for beauty, and with this love for all things bright and beautiful, Librans can't cope with anything coarse, callous or crude.

The trouble with Librans is that they can be irritatingly indecisive; you can go grey while waiting for them to make up their minds about whether to feast on a fairy cake or have a blow-out on bangers and mash. (In the end you want to bash them over the bonce with the frying-pan.) That may be why they're so considerate, and always ask you what you want to do, what you want to eat because they know they haven't the foggiest idea. (Although lots of them do know, and try to coerce you into choosing their choice.)

They also like to keep everything fair and square, and if they feel they've been wronged, they'll fight like Aries or be as stubborn as the most intransigent Taurean to prove they're in the right. Justice must be seen to be done in the Ubran's eyes, at least. (Negative Librans will get their sense of justice a mite mixed up.) But even positive Librans will tamper with the balance they find in their lives, on their oh-so-sensitive scales, and wonder if they've got it right. ('On the other hand,' they'll sigh, 'I could be wrong.' This sort of soul-searching can go on for ever, and frequently does!)

Ubrans' love of harmony and balance extends to matters of the heart, as you might expect. They must have luscious lovers (they must be physically fantastic), and the Libran man must have the most beautiful bird in town in tow, even if he's as ugly as a vulture himself (though he'll have a smashing smile and delicious dimples.) Accuse Librans of this and they will say in a superior way that they're an intellectual Air sign, so plump for personality, first and foremost. But you try to get a Libran to go out with someone who's no oil painting, but has bags of bounce and bonhomie, and see what happens. That's right. Nothing.'

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